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Madison police bring awareness to open garage burglaries

Madison police bring awareness to open garage burglaries

The Madison Police Department's Burglary Crime Unit hit the streets Thursday to bring community awareness to open garage door burglaries, said police.

According to police, five detectives, one detective sergeant and two analysts went to sections of the city that have had an increase in open garage burglaries. In three hours, police contacted over 60 homes with open garage doors to bring the problem to residents' attention.

MPD: Man jumps out of car, robs woman on north side

MPD: Man jumps out of car, robs woman on north side

Madison police said a 24-year-old woman reported being robbed on Madison’s north side Saturday night.

A 24-year-old told police Monday night that the robbery happened Saturday around 9:15 p.m. in the 1500 block of Northport Drive at Troy Drive.

The woman said she was walking on Northport Drive when she heard a car approach, according to the release. A man got out of the car and started grabbing at her backpack.

Police said the woman tried to hold on to her backpack, but she gave him her money when she thought the man was reaching for a weapon.

The robber got back into the car with other people, and drove away, according to the release.

County approves additional funding to increase emergency radio coverage

County approves additional funding to increase emergency radio coverage

The Dane County Board of Supervisors approved an additional $3.75 million in funding Thursday to increase radio coverage in rural areas and inside large buildings, according to a release.

The allocation was approved as part of a larger resolution approving the issuing of bonds to pay for commitments already approved in the 2015 capital budget, officials said. The new funding is in addition to the $3 million already dedicated to improvements in the DaneCom radio system.

News 3 reported in December that parts of DaneCom would be taken offline at the beginning of 2015 to determine if the county’s new emergency communication system was causing emergency radio problems.

East Washington Avenue hotels, motels form crime-fighting alliance

Aiming to decrease the number of crimes on their property, 24 hotels and motels on East Washington Avenue have partnered with police to share information about individuals they will not rent to, and assist in the arrest and prosecution of violators.

The businesses hope to decrease the amount of drug use, human trafficking and prostitution incidents in their rooms and parking lots.

"What we recognize is that a problem for one hotel is very likely a problem for all hotels," Madison police officer David Dexheimer said. "Our hope is that it develops into something that's self-sustaining between the hotels and the motels."

While antagonizers may currently be denied rooms at one place, they can take their business to another nearby hotel or motel.

By sharing troublemakers' information through an email exchange, Comfort Inn front desk supervisor Sandra Haire hopes to see less crime in general.

11-year-old brings BB gun aboard Madison bus, police say

11-year-old brings BB gun aboard Madison bus, police say

A concerned citizen called police Tuesday to report seeing a boy tuck what appeared to be a large handgun into his waistband and board a city bus on the north side of Madison, according to police.

Madison police said the caller was a passenger in a car on Trailsway at North Sherman Avenue at about 5:10 p.m.

The caller told police which bus the boy had boarded.

Police called Madison Metro and the bus driver pulled over. Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said an officer and a Dane County deputy boarded the bus, which was carrying three other people and the boy. The boy initially denied he was carrying a weapon, but police found the look-alike gun in the boy's backpack.

Police said there were no markings on the BB gun to indicate it was a toy.

DeSpain said it's against Madison city ordinance for anyone under 18 years old to go anywhere armed with a pellet or BB gun. The boy was taken off the bus and returned to his family. No citations were issued.

Mother pleads guilty to child neglect in death of toddler struck by van

Mother pleads guilty to child neglect in death of toddler struck by van

A mother whose young daughter was struck and killed on a Madison street has pleaded guilty to child neglect.

Thirty-three-year-old Raya Hansen is to be sentenced Monday in Dane County Circuit Court. Prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence of two and a-half years.

The State Journal reported a charge of second-degree reckless homicide was dismissed Wednesday as part of the plea agreement.

A criminal complaint said Hansen was high on drugs when she put her 1-year-old daughter in a wheelchair and headed to a drug store about 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 14, 2013.

The wheelchair rolled out into the street and was struck by a van.

Burglar causes $1,800 damage but takes nothing from shops

Burglar causes $1,800 damage but takes nothing from shops

A man broke into two near west Madison businesses early Sunday causing property damage, police said.

Madison police said a burglar used a flower pot to break windows of an ice cream shop and a gift-and-game store at 12:30 a.m.

Surveillance video showed the burglar enter the Chocolate Shoppe, then enter the business next door, Whoops & Co., according to the report.

Police said it didn't appear the burglar stole anything from the stores, but property damage from the broken windows was estimated at $1,800.